AZA2015 - Biological and cognitive psychology - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science


Ms Skye Hanekom

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The unit explores the neurocognitive foundation of psychological functions. The major themes focus on the anatomy and physiology of the brain functioning; the neural bases of complex behaviours and psychological capacities; the structural and functional organisation of human cognition as well as the aetiology and manifestations of various neurocognitive deficits. The operation of perception, memory, language, reasoning, and attention will be explored with reference to leading theoretical accounts and with specific emphasis on the underlying brain mechanisms and neural processes.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe the physiological mechanisms of the brain and the nervous system;
  2. conceptualise the brain structures and their respective functions in cognitive processing and regulatory functions;
  3. distinguish the role of the neurotransmitters and hormones in the nervous system, brain and the rest of the body;
  4. understand and examine the structure and operation of the cognitive functions (i.e., memory, language, reasoning and attention);
  5. describe and conceptually integrate the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological mechanisms that underlie both the typical and atypical occurrence of the core cognitive functions;
  6. demonstrate advanced skills in critical analysis and report/essay writing.


Within semester assessment: 50%

Exam: 50%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study